This Department of the Library is located at the western end of the top floor of the building. The Caribbean Research Library (CRL) is a specialised reference collection of all types of materials both, current and retrospective, which relate to Guyana and the Caribbean. It is the largest of its kind regionally, and its resources and services are open to organisations and individuals engaged in research on Guyana and the Caribbean.
The primary objective of the CRL is to be an important reference collection. It therefore aims to be as comprehensive as possible in the collection and acquisition of Caribbean material. This objective has been achieved to the extent that the CRL can claim to be the largest collection in the world on GUYANA. In scope, this unit covers the Guianas, Belize and the Caribbean islands, and in some instances, items on flora and fauna of South America. It contains over 30,000 books, pamphlets, manuscripts, newspapers, microfilms, maps, records, tapes and other miscellaneous items, some of which are both unique and rare.
The immediate objectives of the division are as follows:
- To collect and disseminate retrospective and contemporary information on a wide range of topics and subjects – from the creative arts to the sciences – on Guyana and the Caribbean.
- To support research and teaching activities of the University Campus including national and overseas researchers on Guyanese topics.
- To encourage an awareness of the importance of research on Caribbean, and especially Guyanese topics.
- To preserve our history and cultural heritage.
With a specific objective of being an important reference collection the CRL aims to be as comprehensive as possible in the collection and acquisition of Caribbean material. To this extent the CRL can proudly claim to be the largest collection in the world on GUYANA. In scope, this unit covers the Guianas, Belize and the Caribbean islands, and in some instances, items on flora and fauna of South America. It contains approximately 30,000 books, journals, pamphlets, staff papers, student papers, theses, blueprints, manuscripts, newspapers, building plans, paintings, artifacts, microfilms, maps, records, tapes and other miscellaneous items, some of which are both unique and rare.
Generally, because CRL is a closed collection, users do not have access to the stacks (this is with the exception of postgraduate students who are reading for Master’s degrees and registered Academic staff where access is granted at the discretion of the Librarian). In order to find out what is available on a particular subject, the catalogues should be consulted. It is arranged by author, title, and subject and provides call numbers to books. Additionally, the collection of the CRL is automated and users may consult the online catalogue to retrieve information. A list of Serials/Journals held in CRL can be obtained on request at the Desk. Indexes of content pages of journals can also be obtained at the Desk. After identifying the item(s) you wish to consult, a reading room issue slip must be filled out and submitted to the staff. A reading room ticket must be submitted to borrow the material. Only two materials can be borrowed by a user at any one time. The loan period is 2 hours. Books may be renewed if necessary.
All registered users and visitors are permitted to borrow items for use within the CRL for a period of 2 hours on any one occasion; renewable if necessary.
The CRL also mount various exhibitions displaying and showcasing our unique collection. Additionally, exhibitions are mounted for various significant days that are celebrated globally, regionally and locally.
There are also various special collections within the CRL, these are as follows:
|A.W.B. Long Collection||Vital information on the social history of Guyana|
|Union of Cultural Clubs Collection||Reports and other information concerning the history of Guyana|
|Rare Book Collection||Old maps, postcards, photographs, and manuscripts dating back to the 15th century.|
|Norman E. Cameron Collection||Manuscripts, diaries|
|A.J. Seymour||Diaries, manuscripts, letters.|
|Allsopp Collection||Information on Civil Engineering – building of roads and bridges|
|Legal Deposit||Published materials in Guyana and by Guyanese|
|Guyana Prize for Literature||Literary Awards for Guyanese and Caribbean authors of fiction, poetry and drama|
The CRL houses a large Reading Room with seating capacity for approximately seventy-four (74) persons.
In other respects, the CRL functions as a legal depository of locally published works.
The collection functions primarily as an aid to serious research, while at the same time it gives an ongoing service to students, staff and other patrons particularly in those areas in which materials are not available in the general collection. Efforts are made, whenever possible, to duplicate the current items in the CRL in the general library.
After registration, members of academic staff are given reading privileges and the right to consult the shelves directly.
The CRL reading room space is limited and readers are not allowed to use it for the consultation of items which come from outside of the collection.
In addition to the items on the shelves, the collection has a rare-book and map collection to which access is possible after an official request is made to do so.
Patrons from outside of the University, maybe given reading rights. A formal request in writing must be made to the University Librarian before these privileges are granted.
Borrowing of Items
Items must be used in the CRL Reading Room except for duplicates which may be borrowed for a period of two hours for use in the general library.
- Handling of queries on Guyana and the Caribbean.
- General assistance to users in the exploitation of the resources of the collection.
- Bibliographical services – time allowing, the CRL staff will undertake to prepare short lists on specific topics for users. Academic staff may request bibliographic help for university courses or private research.
- Information on the availability of Caribbean material outside of the collection.
- Access to the microfilm collection of theses, newspapers and other works.
Access to tape recorded material and other non-book materials on all aspects of Caribbean and Guyanese culture.
Enquiries regarding this section of the Library may be addressed to the Librarian in charge of the collection. Contact can also be made via the Library’s LiveChat, the Virtual Help Desk, Facebook and WhatsApp Messenger.